Home Based Business

Home Based Business

What are the rules for running a business in my home?  

Home Occupations in Port Alberni are regulated by Section 6.15 of the Zoning Bylaw.   All Home Occupations must obtain a City of Port Alberni Business Licence. Your Home Occupation must be licenced to, and conducted by, a permanent resident of your home.

Sticky Note reminder

  • A Home Occupation must be conducted entirely within your home except where your Home Occupation is Urban Market Gardening, then regulations in Section 6.24 of the Zoning Bylaw apply. 
  • Your Home Occupation may not involve internal structural alterations to your home and there must not be any exterior indication including storage of materials, other than signage, that the building is being utilized for any purpose other than that of a home.
  • No building, structure, fence or enclosure, other than those in conformity with permitted residential uses in the zone in which it is located, may be erected. 
  • Your Home Occupations must not produce noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odour, litter or heat other than that normally associated with a residence, nor shall it create or cause a fire hazard, electrical interference or traffic congestion on the street.
  • Specifically prohibited activities include manufacturing, welding, vehicle or machinery repair or any other light industrial use.
  • Your home must not be used as a warehouse or retail store. 
  • Traffic related to your Home Occupation is prohibited between the hours of 9:00 pm and 8:00 am, except for Home Occupations regulated by the Community Care Facility Act or related regulations.
  • A maximum of one non-resident employee is permitted.
  • A Tutoring/Instruction Service as a Home Occupation shall be limited to a maximum of eight (8) students at any one time. 

In R, RR, or A zones, the following regulations also apply:

  • Except for Home Occupations regulated by the Community Care Facility Act or related regulations, the Home Occupation maximum floor area must not exceed 40 m2  (430.6 ft2).
  • One non-illuminated fascia sign, up to 0.2 m2 (2.15 ft2) in area, is permitted. 
  • Only one customer may receive service at any one time on the property. 

In RM (Multi Family) and MH (Mobile and Modular Home)  zones, the following regulations also apply:

  • Maximum floor area may not exceed 19 m2 (204 ft2) per dwelling unit; 
  • No signage pertaining to your Home Occupation is permitted; 
  • No customer service is permitted in a residence where a Home Occupation is conducted. 
For more information, please contact
Melissa Tardif
Business Licensing/Development Services Clerk

City Hall, 4850 Argyle Street
Port Alberni BC V9Y 1V8